Canadian Military’s Limits to Be Tested as Fears of War With Russia Mount

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
February 23, 2022 Updated: February 23, 2022

OTTAWA—The Canadian military’s limits are being put to the test with the deployment of hundreds of additional troops and hardware to reinforce the NATO military alliance in eastern Europe.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday that Canada will deploy an additional 460 Canadian troops to help NATO in its standoff with Russia, including an artillery unit, a naval frigate and a surveillance aircraft.

The pledge came despite Defence Minister Anita Anand having acknowledged concerns last week about stretching the military too far given its numerous existing commitments and growing personnel shortage.

Defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says the deployment of an additional frigate to Europe, where Canada already has one positioned, will almost certainly require trade-offs elsewhere.

That’s because the navy’s sailors are already stretched thin in terms of numbers at the same time as Canada’s 12 frigates are starting to show their advanced age.

It’s also unclear what impact, if any, the deployment of additional forces to Europe will have on Canada’s other military commitments in Asia as well as the Middle East, where hundreds of Canadian troops continue to participate in the fight against the Islamic State.